Organization and Financing of Indigent Hospital Care in South Florida

By Catherine A. Jackson; Amanda Beatty | Go to book overview

2
SOUTH FLORIDA'S THREE COUNTIES: BROWARD, MIAMI-DADE, AND PALM BEACH

Nearly 5 million people live in Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties, and approximately 18 percent lack health insurance.8 To better understand the context in which each county operates, we describe the hospitals and the populations they serve. The data used here come from the U.S. Census (1990 and 2000), the Florida Health Insurance Study, and the hospital financial information reported to the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).

All three counties have experienced growth in their populations, increased population density, and change in their population demographics (Table 1). Looking at the three counties' demographic characteristics individually, we see that Palm Beach has experienced the greatest population growth - in absolute numbers and in population density. Miami-Dade County has the youngest population, and Palm Beach County has the oldest. Over half of Miami-Dade's population is foreign born, compared with 25 percent in Broward County and 17 percent in Palm Beach County. Residents of Palm Beach County also have a higher per-capita income than in the other two counties. Miami-Dade County is clearly the largest of the three, in geographic size and population. Among the three counties, its population has the lowest per-capita money income and the highest percentage of persons living in poverty. Broward saw the greatest increase in the percentage of persons below the federal poverty level (FPL). Palm Beach and Broward Counties have similar proportions of their population that are uninsured, approximately 15 percent, and MiamiDade has the highest at 25 percent.

____________________
8
Duncan et al., (2000), Florida Health Insurance Study, 1999.

-7-

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